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Durban - Satanic cults in KwaZulu-Natal are luring more and more children into their fold, occult specialist and sociologist, Dr Kobus Jonker, has warned.
Jonker’s warning comes as speculation mounts that Reservoir Hills teenager, Kyle Mudaly, who ended his life at midnight on Monday, had allegedly been dabbling in satanism.
His mother, Sheena, made the gruesome discovery at 7am on Tuesday when she went to wake him for school. He had hanged himself with a sweatshirt and tracksuit pants from a curtain rail in his bedroom.
A bizarre symbol, drawn in black ink, was found on his bedroom wall, and a deep incision to his chest with blood smears around it, signalled something sinister.
A family friend, Vani Pillay, said there was concern in the family that he could have been involved in satanism.
“The symbol was a black circle with a star in it. There were also lots of dots and strange lettering,” she said.
“A blade, believed to have been used to make the cut on Kyle’s chest, was also found in his room.”
Pillay said the 16-year-old, a Grade 11 pupil at AD Lazarus Secondary in Reservoir Hills, had displayed no signs of strange behaviour.
“Kyle was a warm-hearted boy who had lots of friends,” he said.
“There has been speculation that he had been involved in satanism, but this has not yet been confirmed.
“In recent weeks he had stopped going to church. But no one knows why. Once the mourning period is over, the family will investigate all the claims that are being made.”
Kyle’s relative, Ashwin Kuarjith Singh, said the family was determined to get to the bottom of the boy’s death.
“If these cults are creeping into our children’s lives, we cannot allow it to continue. Cult leaders are highly manipulative and we need to stand together as a community and protect our kids.”
He said the family was not shying away from the claims. “This has been a difficult time for them. But, they have vowed to find out what led to their son’s death.”
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said Sydenham police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death.
The chairman of the AD Lazarus school governing body Ish Prahladh said social networking sites had been abuzz that Kyle had been involved in satanism.
Several of Kyle’s friends on Facebook claimed to belong to the school of satanism. Pictures of links to sites for sorcery and witchcraft were also noted.
Prahladh said: “I have been to school and spoken to his friends and teachers. Everyone is quite shaken. Hopefully, in the next few days we will get some answers. We cannot hide from these things. If it is happening in our community we need to take immediate action before another life is lost.”
Prahladh said he had also seen the symbol in Kyle’s room.
“His family said that the symbol was never there prior to Kyle’s death. It was the first time they had seen it. But, no one knows what it stands for. Hopefully police will be able to shed some light.”
Jonker said in the past two months he had received many telephone calls from concerned parents, especially in the Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay areas.
“These parents suspect their children could be involved in satanic activity or cults. Their fears should be taken seriously,” he said. “Satanism is a reality. People must not shy away from it.”
Jonker, who headed the police’s occult unit in Pretoria for many years before he retired, said children, mainly between the ages of 14 and 18, were attracted to satanism because it gave them a sense of power.
“Animal sacrifice and youngsters pledging their souls and bodies to the devil are also common practices. The parents who have made contact with me said their children go out late at night and only return the next day. They listen to heavy metal music and spend hours locked in their rooms.”
He advised parents who noticed tell-tale signs to immediately engage professional help.
“These children need to be handled with care and love. Support them and help them through the counselling process.”
Jonker said he had become interested in occult-related crimes after a satanic killing in 1980.
“The young woman had devil tattoos all over the body and the 666 symbol. My investigations found she had been part of a satanic cult,” he said. “This is a very real threat … Satanic cults in KwaZulu-Natal are luring more and more children into their fold.”
Behavioural specialist Jimmy Henderson said cult behaviour related back to the human need to feel connected and to be part of something important.
But satanic cults could lead to crime and violence as they often embraced different beliefs and value systems than those acceptable to society as a whole.
However, Dr Dale Wallace, a lecturer in religious studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said many tragic incidents were labelled as satanic to cover up issues such as bullying, family or psychological problems. - Daily News